Evening News Round-up: Informants, Conspiracies, and 500 Rumbles

Good Evening!

Yesterday, I started to read Kurt Eichenwald’s latest book, 500 Days Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars. I got up to page 137 before I called it a night and went to bed. It is heartbreaking to read about all the lost opportunities to intervene and possibly stop the attack, but the Bush administration just did not pay attention, or blatantly and cockishly refused to even hear the warnings from CSC…Counterterrorist Center.

Since I am only in the first part of the book, I will link to a review from the New York Times Book Review: ‘500 Days,’ by Kurt Eichenwald

Doug Mills/Associated Press

President Jacques Chirac of France and President George W. Bush, November 2001.

This book is misleadingly titled. “500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars” seeks to provide a global account of the period after 9/11, leaping from a prison cell in Syria to the nightclub bombing in Bali, but it’s best and most informative when depicting how the Bush administration, and especially its lawyers, suffered a protracted nervous breakdown during that time. In that respect, it is an ambitious undertaking and a valuable resource.


With each piece of evidence, it becomes clearer that in late 2001 and in 2002, President Bush and Vice President Cheney had begun panicking. Mistaking rumors and lies fabricated by victims of torture as actionable information and elbowing aside skeptics, they gave rein to their fears that the worst was yet to come — and their hysteria spread to and infected parts of the national security ­establishment.

Give that review a quick read. I will give you two quotes from the book, that so far has struck me as very telling.

In discussing John Ashcroft and his “priorities,” of which terrorism was not even part of, Eichenwald writes about Tom Picard, the acting director of the FBI and Dale Watson, head FBI in charge of counterterrorism:

Despite Ashcroft’s apparent indifference, Pickard tried to hammer home the magnitude of the terrorist threat almost every time they met. But at this latest briefing, Pickard told Watson, the attorney general had gone off the rails.

“I was telling him about the high level of chatter and how it suggested something big was about to happen,” Picard told Watson. “And then he interrupted me and said, ‘I don’t want to hear about that anymore.”

This was two months prior to the attacks. And, one of many warnings about bin Laden and his big plans within the last 12 months…since Bush became the Republican nominee and received his first intelligence briefing.

The other quote is shortly after the attacks, when one of Ashcroft’s top aides  is caught reading a book in his office:

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam. Omigod. That is not a good sign.

Again, I am only at the beginning but wow…and that is just a couple of examples from the Department of Justice. We are not even mentioning Cheney and his crew.

I just finished reading Eichenwald’s earlier book, The Informant, and if you are up for some real unbelievably f’d up cooperating witnesses, involved in price fixing and embezzlement, then please read the book. (The movie with Matt Damon does not really touch the surface…)

Here are a couple of reviews for the book:

BOOKS OF THE TIMES; A Crime Story of the White-Collar Kind – New York Times

Fox in the Henhouse – New York Times

And a two-hour interview with Eichenwald: Booknotes :: Watch The Informant Part One and Booknotes :: Watch The Informant Part Two.

Anyway, I also sat through the entire Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart Debate. It was awesome…if you have not seen it, you need to.

Bill O’Reilly, Jon Stewart Debate In ‘Rumble In The Air-Conditioned Auditorium’

Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly: The Rumble : The New Yorker

Just one more link for you tonight, this is sad…Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman split after 30 years

Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlmanare breaking up.

A spokesman for DeVito says the couple is separating after 30 years of marriage. Publicist Stan Rosenfield offered no other details.

DeVito and Perlman married in 1982 and have three adult children. The couple worked together on TV’s “Taxi” from 1978 to 1982.

Together, the couple established the production company Jersey Films, which counts “Pulp Fiction,” ”Erin Brockovich” and “Out of Sight” among its credits.

Danny DeVito-Rhea Perlman split catches Hollywood off guard

‘Stunned,” “shocked,” “totally surprised” and “so sorry to hear it” — just a few of the comments veteran Hollywood insiders were using Monday as news broke Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman had separated after 30 years of marriage.

“For Hollywood — hell, for anywhere in America — breaking up after 30 years is practically unheard of,” said one of the biggest producers in the entertainment business, who has worked with both DeVito and Perlman. “I am devastated to hear about this. They are both good friends and will remain so. I’m just sorry they apparently were unable to overcome whatever issues they had.”A second Tinseltown source who recently worked with DeVito speculated the couple’s work has kept them apart, “as often is the case out here.” Beyond confirming the split, DeVito’s spokesman,

I’ve read rumors of a possible connection to DiVito’s alcoholism, but I guess we will find out later on…

This is an open thread.

32 Comments on “Evening News Round-up: Informants, Conspiracies, and 500 Rumbles”

  1. Just saw this on Google News: Penn State coach Sandusky denies he molested children – chicagotribune.com

    ugh…y’all can guess what I am thinking.

    • NW Luna says:

      Riiiiiiight. We’ve heard all of this before from his kind. They consented, it was all in good fun, they asked for it, boys will be boys. How do I plug in a link to that YouTube clip of Lisbeth Salander tatooing Bjurman with “I am a sadistic pig and a rapist.” Sandusky needs that same treatment.

  2. NW Luna says:

    …then he interrupted me and said, ‘I don’t want to hear about that anymore.”


    There’s none so blind as he who will not see.

  3. Okay, I gotta share this…it’s my daughter’s cheer team:

    Proud of these girls!

  4. quixote says:

    That’s quite a team you’re daughter is in! Some place where I lived (don’t remember where!) the national cheerleading championships were held there one year. Her team looks just about as good as the finalists I saw practicing. Go Minx Jr!

  5. Hey our nightmare is reflected across the pond: Now All British Conservatives Want to Weigh In On Limiting Abortion Rights | RH Reality Check

    British conservative leaders are gathering this week and the country’s 24-week abortion limit pops up over and over again in the headlines. Recently, Maria Miller, the newly designated Minister for Women argued that limiting abortion after 20 weeks was necessary to protect women who might suffer physically or emotionally if they have an abortion. A few days later, Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of Health decided that even more appropriate would be a 12-week limit, stating that it’s too difficult to decide when exactly to make abortion illegal, so, “everyone looks at the evidence and comes to a view about when that moment is and my own view is that 12 weeks is the right point for it,” according to The Guardian.

    As arbitrary as the reasoning behind these politicians’ enthusiasm for curbing abortion rights are, at least their public positions give them a legitimate role in the discussion.

    But… the Defense Secretary? That’s a little weird.

    Still, that is exactly what is happening, as Defense Secretary Philip Hammond says he, too, thinks the limit should be reduced, and that 20 weeks seems about right.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Mitt Romney refuses to appear on Nickelodeon’s ‘Kids Pick the President’ special

  7. RalphB says:


    Look, the new Pew poll caught the race in the middle of a Romney bounce and a wave of Romney enthusiasm, which is why a lot more Republicans were willing to answer Pew’s questions than in previous polls, and why Romney leads the poll by 4. Gallup had a poll out today showing Obama up by 5, and, as Kos notes, even Rasmussen shows Romney coming back to earth — but the press and blogosphere and Twittersphere are ignoring those polls and obsessing over Pew.